Greg Easterbrook’s recent column “Our Navy is Big Enough” in the New York Times demonstrates that one lecture at the Naval War College does not a naval expert make. Easterbrook advances two arguments. First that the Navy, at 275 ships, is large enough to meet all of the nation’s naval maritime security needs. Secondly he states that the Navy’s proposed budget proposed budget of $161 billion is far in excess of spending requirements. That he would correlate the size of the Navy’s budget with the size of the force deployed demonstrates his shallow awareness of matters maritime. In both the case of the size of the fleet and the size of the budget, it all comes down to math.
The size of the fleet is measured largely against two separate standards. The first is the size of the force necessary to fight and win the nation’s wars. This standard often looks first to the capabilities a potential challenger might field and then estimates the size of the US naval force required to ensure US victory. Such analysis attempts to present the capabilities required to operate in a lethal and effective manner. Cost and efficiency factor into these calculations but not in a large way. Decisive victory is the objective.
Read the full piece at USNI.
More from CNAS
CommentaryBack to the Future: Transforming the U.S. Army for High-Intensity Warfare in the 21st Century
The Army’s transformation remains a work in progress and potential pitfalls still lurk on the horizon....
By Billy Fabian
CommentarySharper: America's Alliances and Partnerships
Cooperation with allies and partners is vital for achieving U.S. foreign policy goals, especially with respect to global challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the sprea...
By Carisa Nietsche, Jeff Cirillo, Chris Estep & Cole Stevens
ReportsRenew, Elevate, Modernize: A Blueprint for a 21st-Century U.S.-ROK Alliance Strategy
The U.S.-South Korean alliance has the potential to play a central role in bolstering a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond....
By Kristine Lee, Joshua Fitt & Coby Goldberg
CommentaryNext Generation Defense Strategy: Missile Defense
The next administration needs to more fully consider missile defense in the context of strategic deterrence....
By Sarah Mineiro